You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks


Or can you? Part of success in poker is constantly adjusting. Whether it’s over a matter of hands or a matter of years, constantly shaping your game to the ever-evolving industry is extremely important. But how do you know if your game is out of touch? And how can you go about fixing your antiquated strategies? Read on to find out.

Warning Signs

Online Poker DogThere are several red flags you can look for if your game seems to be going the way of the Dodo and possibly the most obvious one is win rate. If you’re not keeping track of your ROI in each game you’re playing, then make it a point to do so. If you’re playing Six-Max Pot Limit Omaha, then log your win rate in it. If you’re playing Full Ring No Limit Hold’em, then keep track of that separately. Every single game you play needs its own ROI calculation.

You can use a program like PokerTracker or Holdem Manager in order to keep accurate tabs on your win rate. These actually separate the games for you and you can also see how you’re doing by position, with certain hole cards, and a variety of other factors. If you’re a serious poker player, then a program like PokerTracker or Holdem Manager is an absolute must.

Your frustration level with the game itself could also be a red flag. Don’t confuse this with your tilt factor. Instead, see how often your reads are spot on, how often they’re miscalculated, and how often you tend to make the wrong decisions on the felts. If any of these seems to be growing, then it’s time to reevaluate your game.

Poker Coaching

Receiving coaching is one of the common ways that players rectify their games. There are a ton of places to find coaching and a variety of sites to pick from like PokerXFactor, CardRunners, Deuces Cracked, and Drag the Bar.

When you’re looking for a coach, it’s critical to evaluate their results. After all, you don’t want a losing player teaching you the game. You’ll also want to ensure that your chosen coach has a style that somewhat meshes with your own at the table. If you’re a tight player and your coach is a loose-aggressive player, then you could easily clash and impede any progress.

However, finding a coach whose style is the opposite of your own might be beneficial. For example, maybe the issue with your game is that you’re too tight. Therefore, finding a loose cannon might be what the doctor ordered.

Hand History Discussions

Posting your hand histories to an online poker forum like TwoPlusTwo is a solid solution if you have any doubts about a play you made. When you receive feedback, do some research on the respondents and pay attention to advice from those who have results that are superior to your own. Don’t listen to feedback from an “Average Joe.”

Moreover, it’s useful to join a discussion group. Plenty of these exist and consist of a group of players discussing hand histories, strategies, and results on a regular basis. These can be conducted online or live and bring a collective mind to an online poker puzzle. Again, join a group whose members have results that are superior to your own; that way, you’ll learn from better players.

Poker Television Shows

While tournament players might be frustrated that poker television consists mostly of all-in situations, cash game players will find shows like the PokerStars-backed “Big Game” and GSN’s “High Stakes Poker” to be helpful. Plenty of hands are shown on each and feature big-name pros. “Poker After Dark,” which airs on NBC, also shows plenty of hands on air, giving you a unique insight into the meta game of each player.


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